Managing Pain; Acute and Chronic

acupuncture points
Henry was watching his daughter play softball, this was no ordinary game, it was for the state championship and his little girl is pitching herself a masterpiece. Two outs and the final batter is facing his daughter. One more strike and the game is over. She winds up and throws a bullet on the inside corner batter swings and misses! He jumps up with joy as everyone is crying and embracing each other. But he has forgotten that he can’t jump, and quickly collapses writhing in pain. Two parents pick him up and his daughter comes by and embraces him and says, ‘Dad enough I can’t stand to see you like this everyday you need to find an alternative treatment until you can get your knee replaced!’

Pain is something every American will deal with at some time in their lives. Pain tends to come in two varieties: acute and chronic. Acupuncture treatment can be very helpful for both, but the treatment goals are different. It is helpful for patients to understand the difference.

Acute pain is the simpler variety. Acute pain is what results when you sprain your wrist: your nervous system sends you a signal that tells you something is wrong, and you need to stop doing what makes your wrist hurt. Acute pain is like a functioning alarm, it’s your body telling you that something has gone wrong and it requires your immediate attention. Acupuncture speeds up the healing process, reduces inflammation and swelling, and also provides pain relief. The general rule for acute pain, are frequent treatments over a relatively brief period of time.

Chronic pain is something else altogether – in fact it is a distinct neurological condition – and it’s much more complicated. Although about 30% of Americans suffer from chronic pain, it is often poorly understood, poorly treated, and branded. Some pain researchers are beginning to describe chronic pain as a disease in and of itself, a phenomenon that occurs when, for some reason, the body’s warning signals don’t work. Henry’s case is an example of this phenomenon, he clearly needs a new knee but his surgeon tells him he’s too young. What is he to do suffer for the next 15 years? How much suffering does it take to change an individual’s gait and as a result create satellite pain throughout the legs and hip and eventually the upper body.

At this time, there is no one answer for the problem of chronic pain. Acupuncture is a piece of the puzzle; so are: medication, allopathic services, exercise, diet, physical therapy, massage, chiropractic treatments, meditation, yoga, and counseling. Every patient’s puzzle is unique. At Advanced PMR, we understand this paradigm all to well and our offices reflect this dedication to eradicate pain by offering a wide variety of complimentary services that help our patients achieve and regain the highest possible quality of life.

Also, while acupuncture is often effective at reducing pain, sometimes even when it isn’t, it still improves a person’s quality of life. Acupuncture generally reduces stress, benefits sleep, lifts and stabilizes moods, and improves energy. All of these effects might be helpful to someone who is pursuing a multi-pronged approach to managing chronic pain.

Bibliography:

www.niams.nlh.gov

Posted in: Acupuncture

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